Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (ICATT) is the leading apprenticeship program in the Midwest for high-tech manufacturers and companies with complex automation or logistics. As the only program in the Midwest fully benchmarked on the German Dual Education System – an approach recognized globally for its combination of company-specific knowledge, theory, and hands-on learning – the ICATT Apprenticeship Program results in highly-trained employees that, ultimately, advance in their careers.
Alexis Ojeda is one of those apprentices. In high school, Ojeda developed a love for math, engineering and manufacturing. In his free time, he competed across Illinois with the Battle Bots Team; a team that created and engineered robots for competition.
At the end of his senior year in high school, Ojeda was introduced to the ICATT Apprenticeship Program through a presentation delivered to his manufacturing class. Ojeda was intrigued; he already knew he wanted to pursue a career that combined engineering and manufacturing, and the ICATT Apprenticeship Program sounded like the perfect fit.
“The combination of work experience and the college education initially piqued my interest. After researching the program, I became extremely interested after realizing the investment the company would be making in me: hands-on experience, associate degree and pay. I was sold,” Ojeda says.
Ojeda is currently in his second year of the Industrial Maintenance Apprenticeship at Wittenstein where he works and learns from coworkers with more than 10 years of experience in manufacturing. “Through my apprenticeship, I am able to learn from coworkers who are at the top of their field, and who provide me the opportunity to learn and develop the skills I need to succeed in my career,” he says.
For students interested in pursuing a career in high-tech manufacturing or complex automations and logistics, Ojeda highly recommends the program. “The ICATT Apprenticeship Program increases your critical thinking, and is the perfect entry point to a career in high-tech manufacturing. That being said, the work is not to be taken lightly. You need a good work ethic, a commitment to your studies and an unwavering desire to improve your skills.”